Million Dollar Question: Can women have it all?
Society seems to tell us we should be beautiful, fit, well-educated, successful in a career, in a happy marriage, with 2.5 kids, a thriving social life, and a vacation home. People think it should all unfold on the perfect timeline too.I believe some women can have it all-- but not necessarily all at the same time!
Last week, I sat down with my lovely matchmaking colleague, Julia Bendis, and attempted to answer this question on this episode of her “Someone Had To Say It” podcast. I opened up about my decision to become a mom without a partner. I talked about all the details of how I became pregnant this past March, how Covid factored into it all, my advice for women-with a ticking clock-who currently want children but aren't in a relationship. I've done many podcast interviews throughout the years, but this was my most personal yet; it was such a pleasure to speak with Julia--a matchmaker who truly "gets" it!
Its been so rewarding to share my solo mother story, and so many people have reached out with love and support--and to let me know that my participation in the Solo Mother Instagram Challenge has inspired them!
If you’d like to learn more about my journey, you can check out my daily Instagram posts since July 1rst or read my recent feature in this Yahoo Live article about the benefits of solo motherhood.
That’s all for now.
There is no doubt about it: The pandemic changed things--and the dating culture was no exception!
As many singles have discovered, "video dating" is a thing now that is here to stay. The apps are still alive, well, and generally as awful as ever, but: Some people are still finding success. And I am happy to help them navigate the ups and downs along the way. Sometimes the right coach makes all the difference.
Meanwhile in the matchmaking world: A lot of us matchmakers are wondering: Is dating officially back? Are people serious about finding relationships or will it be "a hot girl summer"?
I'll be honest: I am getting a lot of women wanting to be matched up from NYC, New Jersey, and Long Island, but since the pandemic, it seems there have been less men reaching out for matchmaking!
Hence, the ad in Newsday. Don't get me wrong: I am always looking for quality women to match with male clients, but right now I am wondering:
Long Island men, where are you!? I am especially looking for very successful men there and in NJ.
Know any? Feel free to refer to me in exchange for generous commissions. Single yourself? You can always apply to be in my confidential database here.
This is a tough blog post to write. Just weeks after I excitedly announced my pregnancy-as a single-mama-by-choice-to-be on social media, I received some devastating news about a friend of mine who was also a single mother.
I'm beyond heartbroken for my friend, Ali Kessler, and her family. Not yet having a child, I can only imagine the pain she is experiencing. You may have seen her sad story-one that marks the failure of the criminal justice and legal systems-in the news.
Her adorable four-year old son's life was tragically taken from him--by his own father, who then committed suicide. Ali did all she could to protect her son; the judge refused her emergency order of protection. She was the best mom she could have possibly been--despite all the challenges in dealing with a co-parent-ex who was clearly mentally ill and abusive. This is so tragic. I am praying for peace for Ali and her family, and I am sharing her story in an effort to raise money for her—for funeral, legal, and life expenses. This is the first time I have ever asked anyone to donate; if you feel as compelled to do so as I did, please do so here.
I am also sharing Ali’s story to spread awareness about mental health issues and domestic violence. Thankfully, I never met her ex-as she had relocated from NYC to Florida soon after meeting him. She did not meet him through a matchmaker, but as a matchmaker-responsible for introducing people who go on to create marriages and families- I have chosen to speak out to the matchmaking community about the great responsibility we have.
I suggest all of my matchmaking colleagues and students at Matchmaking Institute take all the precautions they can in fully vetting people, doing background checks, using their intuition, etc. Personally, if I have doubts about a potential male or female client, I would never take their money and set them up. It is never worth it.
In addition, I beg all singles to look out for the red flags of someone who is mentally ill, narcissistic, and/or capable of domestic violence. I am currently looking into working on some projects to help promoting dating safety and minimize domestic violence. If you wish to collaborate, please email me at Rachel@RachelRusso.com.
Greyson should be here today. No parent should have to suffer this loss. No man or woman should be a victim of such abuse. I hope you'll remember this important message and take advantage of any opportunity to promote change.
Do you remember when you were a teenager and you started reading all those magazine articles about how to get him to like you? Ask you on a date? Make him feel special? Get him to commit? If you were shy, you’d try to be more outgoing and flirty ..….
If you were overweight, you’d try to shed the pounds …….
If you were needy, you’d try to tone it down……
You’d make all these changes to modify yourself to appeal to him. The thing is: You do not exist to please men! Making changes in your looks and behavior is more beneficial if you are making those changes because they appeal to YOU.
But, if you are like most women, you do a lot of what you do to please men. And somewhere along the way, you lose sight of what is really important to you. You approach dating with more concern about winning him over than figuring out if he’s actually someone worth the win. You do more to accommodate him than he does to accommodate you. You cater to his schedule more, you commute to him, you decide to put your goals on hold for him. You cook, you clean, you take care of his kids, and you help him in ways that he does not help out. You’ll have what he’s having, and, sure, you will relocate for him.
You’ve been making his needs more important than yours. And, then, you wonder why your relationship is imbalanced or why he’s lost interest. Being accommodating seems like a plus in relationships, unless, of course, you are never accommodated in return. If you don’t make yourself the most important person in your life, who will?
Isn’t dating ironic?
You have all these men lining up to date you, yet the one you want to date is nowhere to be found! Most people would look at you and point out that you are beautiful, personable, smart, accomplished, and with a great circle of family and friends. They couldn’t imagine why you wouldn’t be happily married with 2.5 kids and a penthouse suite by now—let alone wrap their heads around the idea of you having trouble finding a man.
But you aren’t looking for “a” man. You are looking for YOUR man! And you are probably wondering: How can I attract the right guy?
You can be the catch of the century, but if you can’t communicate who you are to the man you desire, you’ll be as irrelevant as that “Dusty” creeping in your DMs.
In other words, you need to understand your value in the dating game and in life, in general. You have a lot of strengths. But do you know which once you should play up to get attention from the right guys?
Once you are strong in who you are at your core, you can position yourself in a way that demands attention from the type of men you are wishing would notice what you have to offer! (Bonus: Once you take that stand and make it known, you’ll repel some of those Mr. Wrongs who just liked you for superficial reasons.)
Before you even think about accepting an introduction from a friend, putting yourself on a dating site, or attending an event where your “type” may be, there is something you need to be know about yourself.
Its your relationship hook. Its that one thing that is EVERYTHING. Its what keeps him coming back for more—and, sorry, lady, it has nothing to do with sex. Your “game” isn’t that special, and it is not what makes him emotionally invested in you for the long term.
For the record, its not your Botox either. Botox may get the guy, but it sure won’t keep him.
If you want more than a “hook up” and want to hook the man of your dreams so that you can have the connection, love, and stability you crave, there is something you need to know. Most women don’t know it.
But you don’t have to be like most women……
Want to take the first step to attracting Mr. Right? Book your strategy session here.
Interested in being matched? Join my confidential database or update your profile there today.
In today’s dating scene, for many singles, it goes something like this:
-You feel lonely after another weekend in isolation.
-Against your better judgment, you download a dating app.
-You upload a few old photos. (Because no one took half-way decent photos since the pandemic hit, right?)
-You complete a profile that explains that you like a night on the couch just as much as a night on the town.
-You swipe right on some average-looking guy who resembles Dan from Accounting or could be twins with Susan in HR.
-They write back with an uninspiring “How was your weekend?”
-You can’t decide if you could tell them how awful your weekend was without sounding mentally unstable or if you should just try to withstand the small talk.
-You write something back that is one part lame, one part inauthentic, and two parts conversational buzz kill.
-You start swiping on others.
-You rinse and repeat.
-App gets deleted in approximately 3.5 days after your patience wore out, you had an ex spotting, or received one too many unsolicited photos of male genitalia.
-Re-download app approximately 3.5 weeks later and wish you didn’t erase that whole profile you spent ten minutes creating.
It is impossible to get a competitive edge in a dating scene when you are as generic-sounding as the next single. In a sea of sameness, you have to be unique or absolutely no one will want to focus on you and what you have to offer.
If you approach online dating in the same way that everyone else is, you will likely get the same results: An epic fail. A bunch of conversations that lead nowhere. A string of dates that never turn into relationships. And frustration with it all.
Are you or someone you know dating like this?
It is a miserable existence; a competitive edge is needed.
Don’t just sit around waiting for someone to save you. Save yourself. Figure this out.
Need help standing out online or offline? Get some professional advice through a strategy session here.
Interested in being matched? Join my confidential database or update your profile there today.
One of the most important choices in life that one can make: The choice of who to be in an intimate, long-term relationship with, to marry, and/or to have children with.
And a lot of men and women are choosing poorly and suffering the seemingly endless consequences. While I help both men and women make better choices for their love life with my matchmaking and dating + relationship coaching services, today I am focusing on the ladies.
Ladies, first. Especially right after International Women's Day!
In recent years, I have gone to great lengths to support other women---focusing on teaching them how to make healthy decisions with men, and, of course, choosing the most compatible, quality men to be in my database at Rachel Russo Relationships.
While you don't have to make a grand gesture or focus your business on women's empowerment, you can practice supporting women by giving them a little credit instead of blaming them for...EVERYTHING.
This seems to be a trend in society, where we women can't really "win". We are criticized for being too thin, being too heavy, working too much, not working enough; but I digress.......
Another way to support women is: To empower them. When it comes to making choices in love and life, knowledge is power. I like knowledge. I like acquiring it for myself so that I can be an empowered woman, empowering other women.
In that spirit, I wanted to share how much of a pleasure it has truly been helping relationship-oriented women weed through all the “counterfeit” men on online dating sites and apps. In my ideal world, every woman would be able to find her “gem” from the comfort of her home—especially during this pandemic.
If we desire a relationship, we should be able to find it! But, seriously, why is it SO hard for so many of us to find love online?
And, lets be honest, its mostly happening online these days—when going out and connecting isn’t such an option. Online fails many of us though. But why?
To put it simply: We choose THE WRONG MEN. And, often times, we stay attached to them for TOO long--making poor choice after poor choice! Sometimes, we end that relationship and choose someone else just like him. *Sigh*
One skill that I believe every single woman must acquire: Learn how to play detective to determine if any man is who he says he is and if he is for her---FAST.
If you or a woman you know would benefit from learning how to prevent wasting time and emotional energy on the wrong men, you need to check out my on-demand master class “How To Vet Men Like A Matchmaker & Find Your Gem Online”
And, in the meantime, let's call a spade a spade: Most women aren't "crazy" until a man makes them that way! :)
If you are reading this blog post, there is a real chance you are wasting your time.
If you are like most Americans, you are probably spending too much time on your mobile device. (And if you track your screen time, the result might induce nausea!) Perhaps, you are spending too much time texting. Checking social media. Watching bad reality tv. And, maybe, just maybe: You are wasting too much time in your love life.
Judging by the fact that my post above is doing better than ninety-five percent of my recent posts on Instagram, I'd say that if you are guilty of the latter, you are in good company.
But, no, no, no. There isn't anything good about this.
Time is our most precious resource, and if you are waiting on any person to move things forward in your relationship, you are wasting yours. Now, I am not talking about a "normal" wait time. It is perfectly reasonable for someone to build up the courage to ask you out or take a minute before making major life decisions like marriage and babies. However, if you have waited beyond a reasonable time for someone to show genuine interest or make a commitment, you'll know it.
And if you don't know it, you should book a strategy session with me, because I can tell you in sixty minutes or less if you are wasting your time!
There comes a point where you need to ask yourself: Why are you wasting your time? Why are hoping and waiting when the writing is on the wall?
If they wanted to text you back, they would.
If they wanted to ask you out, they would ask.
If they wanted to make it official: You’d know it!
If they wanted to introduce you to their parents, you wouldn’t have to ask.
If they wanted to marry you, you’d be engaged, with a wedding date.
If they wanted to have your child, they’d want to have the conversation.
Facts: When you are in the right relationship, things progress. You aren’t constantly questioning everything. Your partner-nor your dynamic-is always easy or perfect, but you aren’t forever waiting to get to the next step. It isn’t a huge struggle, all the time.
If you aren't making progress in relationships, you are probably making….excuses. And nobody has time for that!
I love a good checklist!
When it comes to my work in the love industry, the checklists usually come from singles who know exactly what they want in a partner. Many people get get very specific when they come to me for matchmaking--noting the age, location, religion, politics, ethnic background, marital status, educational and career background of the person they want to meet. I try my best to match them with what they are looking for and also give my insight on what is realistic vs. unrealistic. Sometimes what we need isn't what we think we want. And that is where my matchmaking magic comes in!
As I celebrate the marriage of the tenth couple that I have introduced and think of the countless people who I have introduced that got into a relationship, I wanted to create a different type of checklist to help singles find their match.
Above is the list of qualities that I am looking for in a matchmaking client. As I recently shared on my social media, at the start of last year, I made a promise to myself: No matter how much money is offered to me, I will only take on matchmaking and dating + relationship coaching clients that I genuinely like. I said I would not give up my personal peace or lose pride in the way I run my business to work with people who I don’t think are humans of the highest quality! And I haven’t went back on that promise since—even in a pandemic.
The top three qualities that I am looking for in a matchmaking client are: Relationship Readiness, Having Their Shit Together, and Being Coachable. Without these Must-Haves, I do not feel good about working with clients and am less likely to have success with them. After all, matchmaking is a collaborative process. I do the work, and I need to be sure my clients do the work too. Because while I could introduce them all to the perfect person, I can't be there to actually have the relationships for them!
So how do I find out if a client meets my criteria for matchmaking? I have a process that I will share with you. Because why not taking the mystery out of matchmaking?
If you are interested in being matched up:
The first step is to fill out a profile in my confidential database so I can learn some basic information about you. I do not share this information with anyone without your consent. However, if you feel more comfortable, you can alternately email me photos and an “About Me” statement—sharing the basics about you, your current lifestyle, marital status, employment, and what you are looking for in a match.
If you are interested in a proactive search to find compatible matches or coaching on how to find or keep your match, we will complete an hour-long strategy session via video to discuss the type of person and relationship you’d like to attract and keep. We will also discuss your strengths and weaknesses for finding what you are looking for, assess your true relationship readiness, brainstorm opportunities, and analyze how to overcome anything threatening our success working together. The cost for this session is two hundred fifty dollars, and you can book it and make a secure payment here.
After this session, I will come up with a personalized matchmaking/coaching package for you and send you the details via email within twenty-four to forty-eight hours. If you are ready to get started, I will send you a contract and payment options. If you have further questions, we can have a brief, post-session followup call—at no cost to you.
Once you become a client, we will come up with a way to work together that best suits your needs, preferences, and will lead to the relationship you desire! If you want to just stay in the database and be considered for my clients and/or do a strategy session to get some advice on how to become your own matchmaker, well, that is fine too!
I am here to serve people however I can in their quest for finding or keeping the their true match. If your or someone you know could benefit from my services, please don't hesitate to get in touch. Let's ditch the hate and spread the love--in whatever ways we can!
Sometimes, our current realities do not match our true desires.
For instance, today, I'd like to be working from a beach in Southern Italy-- basking in the sun, while sipping Prosecco-before a delicious lunch and afternoon of shopping at a tiny boutique, like the one pictured above that I visited in Burano. (Island in Venice, Italy that once stole my heart!)
Instead, I write you this post from my couch in Northern, New Jersey---while sipping dandelion tea, waiting for my Amazon delivery, and contemplating how long it will take to dig my car out of the consequences of the latest snowstorm.
Since I can't actually go back to Italy right now-thanks, pandemic-I figured I'd say "yes" to the two recent Italian-American themed podcasts I was invited to be on last week. In the first by Wooden Spoon Media, the host asked more about the matchmaking business and what my dating advice was than being my Italian American. Its still super-cute and Italian. (Wooden spoon, anyone?!) You can check it out here.
If you want to hear me more full fledged in my element-and talking lots about how being Italian American impacts dating and relationships- have a listen to this fun and personal episode with the founder of The Italian American Leadership Network right here.
And, then, you tell me: What's not to love about an Italian American girl!?!